Nepalese MSc student Yamuna Ghale studied the agronomical techniques of farmers in the Nepalese mountains at an altitude of 700, 1000 and 1900 metres. The farming system is in line with ecological principles, noticed Ghale to her surprise: the farmers use marigolds for plant protection, sow leguminoses for nitrogen fixation and use several measures to avoid soil erosion. Although their mode of production of rice, maize and potatoes is ecologically sound, their farming system is not sustainable, states Ghale. They need fertilizers and pesticides to increase production for the growing Nepalese population, but the farmers cannot afford these expensive inputs and have little knowledge of how to use them properly. An overkill of these inputs will only worsen their problems, says Ghale, who will join the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development after her study. She changed her view on farmers during her study. I now know that they have a good basis to create a sustainable production system.
Students of the engineering programme Rural Development Studies complain that the socio-economic departments at the Leeuwenborch obstruct their proposals to improve the programme. Departments do not want to give up their courses in the programme, because their budget depends on them. Two years ago the programme committee resigned after ongoing disagreements between the socio-economic departments. The proposal in the university to integrate Development Studies with Tropical Land Use, the other international degree course, will be quite difficult, because the departments have skipped the technical course in the programme in the past years
The four student clubs in Wageningen face a decline in membership, because the number of students enroled in the university has dropped and students have less time for recreation during their study. But the student unions are not overly concerned, because the remaining students are quite active, they use their limited time efficiently and they do not relax in bars or in front of the TV very often. Some student clubs try to attract more students by tutoring freshmen
Olaf Post, Bioprocess Technology student at the WAU, has won a competition among Dutch amateur piano players in Rotterdam. Post is also studying at the academy of music in Amsterdam and travels a lot by bus and train. I cannot choose between music and bioprocess technology. Post has a grand piano, stationed in a church, on which he practises two hours a day. Nothing is more beautiful than to play a piece of music well. At that moment there is nothing else besides music. The nice thing about music is that it's subjective, the bioprocess technology is exact.